Sweeping Decision: Janitorial Firm to Pay $4 Million for Bilking Workers

E & R Services Inc., a Las Vegas-based subcontractor that provided janitorial services to retail businesses in California, has been ordered to pay $3.9 million in owed wages and penalties after California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet filed a civil suit seeking a default judgment. The company had janitorial contracts with FoodMaxx supermarkets and Fry’s Electronics.

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) Division of Labor Standards Enforcement first launched its investigation after initially receiving wage claims from 15 employees who worked in several northern California cities including San Jose, Oakland, Sunnyvale, and Fremont. DIR discovered that E & R Services failed to properly pay at least 50 employees who worked across California from December 2006 through January 2009.

“This case is nothing short of routine and systematic fraud,” said DIR Director John C. Duncan. “It is a testament to the fact that workers who are being denied their rights can make a difference. Cases like this help fight California’s underground economy that not only robs hard-working people of the money they deserve but also impedes the success of companies that are following the law.”

A default judgment was filed in State Superior Court in Los Angeles County after E & R Services failed to make an appearance or respond to an initial complaint. This is the first default judgment ever to include a violation of Labor Code section 2810, which makes it illegal to subcontract janitorial and other services without providing sufficient funding to allow the subcontractor to comply with all laws. The Labor Commissioner’s Office determined that E & R Services provided insufficient funds to subcontractors for janitorial work. E & R Services is no longer in business.

“California will not tolerate employers who operate in total disregard of the law and try to increase their profits by underfunding subcontractors, cheating workers out of wages, and undermining the ability of legitimate competitors to compete for work in this tough economic climate,” said Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet. “Labor Code Section 2810 was created specifically for violations like this to address the particular problems faced by low wage workers who are oftentimes more vulnerable to being exploited.”

The investigation found that the company paid employees a fixed sum of $60 a day, which resulted in minimum wage violations. E & R Services also failed to pay overtime, did not provide employees with meal and rest breaks, and evaded payroll taxes.

Product Showcase

  • AirChek Connect Sampling Pump

    Stay connected to your sampling with the SKC AirChek® Connect Sampling Pump! With its Bluetooth connection to PC and mobile devices, you can monitor AirChek Connect pump operation without disrupting workflow. SKC designed AirChek Connect specifically for all OEHS professionals to ensure accurate, reliable flows from 5 to 5000 ml/min and extreme ease of use. AirChek Connect offers easy touch screen operation and flexibility. It is quality built to serve you and the workers you protect. Ask about special pricing and a demo at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. Read More

  • The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus is a simple-to-use, portable multi gas detector that runs continuously for three years without being recharged or routinely calibrated after its initial charge and calibration during manufacturing. The detector reliably tests a worksite’s atmosphere for hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and combustible gases (LEL). Its durability enables the detector to withstand the harshest treatment and environments, hence earning it an IP 68 rating. The MGC Simple Plus is also compatible with a variety of accessories, such as the GCT External Pump. Visit gascliptech.com for more information. Read More

  • Glove Guard® Clip

    Safety should never be compromised, especially when it comes to proper glove usage. The Glove Guard® clip enhances safety by encouraging employees to keep their gloves with them at all times. This reduces the risk of accidents and injuries on the job. By ensuring everyone has their gloves readily available, we help promote a culture of safety and efficiency. The Glove Guard® clip is designed to withstand the toughest work environments. Constructed from robust materials made in the USA, it can endure extreme conditions, including harsh weather, and rigorous activities. Read More

Featured

Webinars